Helen Shay's Edinburgh Review 5

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Kat Francois: "Seven Times Me", Venue 18, City 2, Sweet, The Grassmarket, 3.15pm
 
This was a show shining with personality.  However, it is not one for the faint-hearted.  Kat Francois structures it around her childhood - happy except for her relationship with her step-father, and does not shy away from addressing the worst sides of human nature, whether it be manifest in domestic violence or the traumatising experience of a racist attack cruelly mishandled by the police.  However, overall the show's message is life-enhancing and against bitterness.
 
Kat mixes dance (having trained herself as a dancer) with dramatic narrative, powerful visual effects, music and, of course, poetry.  She weaves in and out of these elements seamlessly.  We come away knowing her and very pleased to have met her.  The poetry is particularly effective, when it slips or sometimes storms in, after a long passage of prose.  Everything is punctuated with humour.  I have never seen a demonstration of the trials and tribulations of an adolescent girl trying to insert a tampon, on stage before.  There are moments of romance, followed by the inevitable let-down - 'Finally, I get the call.  You know the call.'  We all did and the audience were with her all the way.  Where Kat excels is in building up towards emotional moments in her performance, showing her strength and then suddenly revealing a hidden vulnerability, with the which the audience could not help but empathise.
 
Four stars for a colourful show, full of movement, drama and poetry.

◄ Helen Shay's Edinburgh Review 4

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